November 9, 1913
Built and launched by the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio in 1908, the John McGean was an imposing sight. At 432 feet in length with a beam of 52 feet and a weight of 5100 gross tons, she was a heavyweight for her time. Sadly, she only saw five years of service to the Great Lakes before she succumbed to the depths during the great storm of November, 1913. During the event, all hands on board went down with the ship. A few days later, the body of Chief Engineer Calvin Smith was found near Black’s Point, Ontario. Additionally, the remains of Second Cook, D.M. Betts were identified after he was brought into a morgue in Goderich, Ontario. His remains were then sent to his home in Pennsylvania. The actual wreck site wasn’t discovered until 1985 with damage that appeared to be consistent with being swamped by a wave. She rests at a depth of 195 feet and is a great wreck for technical divers to explore and reflect on her history and loss. We visit the John McGean from Harbor Beach.